Estate that island fought against to be built this year

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LETTER OF THE DAY: Nightmare scenario for our city

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IT’S the development no-one on Hayling Island wanted.

But it looks as though work on more than 130 homes near a protected harbour could start within months.

Bellway Homes has just signed a contract to build the houses on land off Goldring Close, Hayling Island, after buying the land from Tolcarne Drive Development.

A petition garnered 4,700 signatures – a third of the island’s population.

In 2012 Havant Borough Council refused the plans on a number of grounds.

Members of the planning committee found there was no need for the houses, that it was out of character with the rural setting and forms part of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, also pointing out the loss of important trees and landscape and that the plans contained only one access road.

Residents were overjoyed but within months Tolcarne brought an appeal and government planning inspector upheld it, meaning the homes could go ahead.

A reserved matters planning application is to be submitted shortly which will determine the type and layout of the housing.

John Broomhead is from Mengham Fields Residents Group. He said: ‘I can’t knock Bellway Homes, they seem very professional. But people feel so strongly about this.

‘We offered to buy this land and preserve it as a nature reserve but we were turned down.

‘More people signed this petition than voted in the last Hayling election. And yet the inspector did not take that into account. Where is the Localism Act there?’

Mr Broomhead said the group’s main concerns include the impact of the homes on the road network and the fact there will only be one point of access.

He added: ‘It will have a huge impact on the junction of Tournerbury Lane and Church Road – which is right next to a school – and I haven’t seen any mitigation for that.

‘There were horses grazing behind the hedges in Goldring Close. Soon it will just be bricks and mortar.’

In a statement Bellway said it is building 131 family homes, with a percentage of this to include affordable homes.’

It added: ‘A reserved matters planning application will be submitted shortly with a view of commencing build of these new homes towards the end of the year.’